Sunday, December 30, 2018

IV of Spades Mundo (studio version)

I agree with one blogger that the studio version of "Mundo", the break out song of IV of Spades paled very much in comparison with their version of that song at 107.5 FM. It is such a muck up. Anyway, they still have time to repair such a monstrosity. They know it.

Here is the version I am talking about.

https://youtu.be/xKk655CDFn8

I just can't stop myself from comparing "Mundo" to the "Himig Natin" song of Juan Dela Cruz band. Like the Juan Dela Cruz band, IV of Spades made some dramatic promise that their every song was deliciously lapped up by every member of that generation. It made heroes out of three members of the band: Mike Hanopol, Pepe Smith (who remains very much active in the rock scene) and Wally Gonzalez.

Incidentally, it was in 1968 when the band was formed and it was in 1973 at the height of martial law that they released their most popular song which became still the rock anthem of Pinoy rockers.

Some say, this song "Mundo" is the "anthem song" of this millennial generation. Well, I really don't know about that.

The thing is, IV of Spades' sound seemed unique because it appeals not just to millennials but to true blue rockers of two or even three generations past. It just so happened that three cute faced youngsters are there showing us that they perfectly understood what other generations want to say.

Songs of IV of Spades seemed too perfectly arranged to be "commercially iconic" to a point of exhaustion. Backers of this band want us to accept this band as the "penultimate" when, to be perfectly honest about it, the band sound seemed too pop-rock. However, I still believe that with Blaster Silonga, Zild and Badjao there collaborating, these youngsters can still create more serious and more musically astute creations in the next few years.

Unique Salonga says he left the band to pursue "personal goals" which just meant that there are some problems in terms of management. I think he jams well with the rest of the band. For me, it is tooo soon for Unique to leave and carve his own.

This also happened with the Juan Dela Cruz band when Mike left and formed his own band, the Mike Hanopol band.

Anyway, with or without Unique, I think IV of Spades have years worth of time to figure out their own unique sound which they could really claim as their signature.

When surveys do not always reflect what is "out there"

Surveys are supposed to reflect social realities. When social researchers go to the field and conduct surveys, they expect to get truthful answers. But, what if people elect not to give truthful answers? They are either afraid of something or they give answers which reflect their "longing" instead of their perception of their true situation see link: http://www.sagaraconsulting.com/new-blog/2015/6/22/are-your-participants-being-dishonest-in-your-research

Getting untruthful answers in surveys are not uncommon. It happens especially when researchers pay respondents or if researchers always rely on the same group of respondents. Familiarity affects survey results. Respondents usually want to please the researcher see link: https://www.infosurv.com/5-reasons-why-survey-respondents-dont-tell-the-truth/

Another is that there is a practice among members of depressed urban communities. Whenever an unknown person goes to their community, they usually do not immediately open up. It takes a while for one to get truthful answers to questions.

I remember what my Lola explained why news reports during the Japanese occupation have shown a vast majority of Filipinos liking these chinky eyed invaders. " It's war, my son," says my Lola, " and you need to survive. So when someone asks you something, you give them what they want to hear."

Fear envelops even the most remote communities. That tokhang policy has been totally mucked up that it has created a climate of fear among members of communities. When one has been identified as "uncooperative," the possibility of that community member to be attacked looms.

There are several signs when things are not right.

First, it is the economy. When foreign investments are leaving the bourse in such speed, volume and ferocity, there is something terribly wrong.

Second, when less people go to the streets at night, there is something terribly wrong happening at grassroots level.

Third, when small eateries and shops are closing up, there is something acutely problematic. It shows people are not going out anymore.

Fourth, when retail outlets have ceased setting shop. It shows that people are not spending as expected.

Fifth, when there is an eerie silence in communities, something is afoot.

Government must be totally concerned that these symptoms are happening because it just shows there is now an undercurrent of dissent simmering below ground. These things usually happen prior to a big one. And surveys like seismometers, only measure the impact when it already happens.


UP Dharma Down, IV of Spades, ShantiDope, Unique

IV Of Spades
I'm definitely impressed with these youngsters, especially those of the UP DHARMA DOWN (I thought all of them are students of UP), IV of Spades, Shantidope and Unique.

Up Dharma Down is most unique in terms of sound. The fact is, Apple Music seemed clueless as to what genre the band belongs to. The band has renamed itself as UDD but I think they need to go back to their previous band name. UDD reminds one of a contraceptive. :-)

Up Dharma Down is classified as possessing "alternative sound" which I think is right. Their sound is pure class. And global, mind you.

IV of Spades must remain as a trio. The two guitarists and the drummer are highly talented young musicians. They seemed to be influenced by the VST and Company sound, the very sound promoted by Eat Bulaga where members of the band was discovered. By the way, Eat Bulaga has just celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Unique, which jammed with them seemed a very promising musician with an angst. If I were Unique, I would definitely jam with IV of Spades more so that I will not be associated with a toothpaste brand, joke! :-)

These young musicians should be supported so that their artistry will grow. They have a very unique musicality that is not just marketable but has impact.

One advice--just be yourselves. Do not be boxed just like how several industry men tried to box Eraserheads. I know they began as a commercial group but these youngsters should be allowed to blossom as artists of their own caliber sound.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Relevance of the Party

The relevance of the Party depends on two (2) things: first, if it still provides direction; and second, if it remains a reliable partner of the masses in their aspiration for a good and stable life. The Party must realize that it is first and foremost, an organization. An organization of such size, magnitude, impact and longevity must have something in it that makes it what it is.

Unlike other revolutionary parties, the Communist Party of the Philippines is the only remaining Communist-inspired organization waging a protracted people's war against an established government in ASEAN. All the others, particularly the Communist Party of Thailand and the Communist Party of Indonesia had all been marginalized, if at all, decimated. Their decimation may have been due to several factors, among which is the attractiveness of its offer for societal change. Thais and Malays may have found their prescription irrelevant.

The Party remains relevant because it sees the Philippine condition in its sociological lenses as provided by Karl Marx. Marxism-Leninism remains a strong theoretical foundation for those who aspire for change. However, this analytical tool must be used very carefully, like how a social scientist does. It is not meant for demagogues. Marxism aspires to liberate man from metaphysical abstractions. What it does is to situate man, provide man with a correct analysis of his environment for him to adapt to changes that occur every second.

What believers of the Marxian method might have missed is the effect of such a tool in changing one's mindset--it makes one eliminate the causes of confusion that leads to a misunderstanding of the dynamics behind every phenomenon.

For the Party to stay relevant, it must re-examine its analysis of the Philippine condition. It cannot be that for the last fifty years, the Philippines remained as a semi-feudal, semi-colonial condition. There must be a thorough re-assessment and thereupon, changes in the way the Party looks at Philippine reality.

Tactics must also be reviewed after the Party collectively agrees on a renewed analysis of Philippine conditions based on Marxist-Leninism. The strategy for the attainment of revolutionary change could actually be not entirely based on armed struggle. The main purpose is the overhauling of the system by defeating the Oligarchs that rule this country. The defeat of the Oligarchs is the main mission to correct the monumental flaws of our system. There is simply no compromise in this.  For the continued domination of the Oligarchs leads to a lopsided relationship where most of the vast resources of this country are controlled by a few who profit from the misery of the majority.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sikat at liwanag

Ikaw ay siyang unang sinag na tumakas mula sa dilim
liwanag sa kabila ng kagat ng takip silim
sumusuot sa kailaliman ng kaluluwa
dinudurog mga dati nang paniniwala
at pinakakawala
mga katamkatam
na alaala.

Sa iyong pagdampi sa aking mga labi
kinikinis nito ang mga guni-guni
natutunaw mga agiw sa tabi-tabi
nagiging high definition TV
kumakapit, kumakati.

naaninag ko ang liwanag
sa kuyom kong mga daliri
pilit sumisirit sa mga guwang
nagtatangkang kumawala

at sa kanyang muling pag-alpas
ilan kayang buhay ang maaagnas?
sa pait ng kanyang mga kwento
ilan dito ang bubuhay sa mga bato?

singbilis ng kidlat siya ay magsisiwalat
ng tamis at pait ng buhay na ito
na produkto ng kapitalismo
na siyang umaalila sa mga tao.

sisirit din ang liwanag
sa mga madidilim na iskenita
at maglalaon at susukwang
ang mga ligaw na damo sa
bitak-bitak nang mga lupain.

nakikiramdam ang mga alipin
sa paghina ng mayabang na panginoon
hinihintay ang hatol noon pang daang taon
na pupunit sa kasinungalingan
ng ating pagkalalang.


Itchyworms, Ben&Ben, Callalily, Silent Sanctuary--they uplift OPM to a new refreshing level

I am excited that there are several Filipino bands right now which hit the right notes, metaphorically, at the right time and the right places. What I meant with places, in the heart. These bands capture Filipino life at this very moment, the lows and downs, the itchy side of things and the lemons and oranges.

Among the bands of today, I pay special mention to Itchyworms. I really don't know much about this band except that their music catches my innermost vibe. Their song, " Di na muli" is one fine specimen of excellent musicality. Several blog entries ago, I wrote here how disappointed am I for not hearing new tunes. For so many years, I listened to many songs of Filipino bands and really, they were the very same formulaic songs which I last heard from the Eraserheads. Even the themes are the same. So, why will I part my precious peso for these songs?

Not anymore. With these songs which I listed here, I see promise and a glimmer of hope that OPM is really maturing to a level which I consider universal.

Itchyworms top my list, followed by Ben&Ben, Oranges and Lemons, Callalilly, and Silent Sanctuary. For single acts, its Juan Karlos who catches me in a rather weird way.

Let me justify my choice by you watching this excellent video by Itchyworms see link. This song, I think will revolutionize and will lift up true OPM sound once more.

Ben&Ben's singers very clear and unique vocals spice their song, "Kathang Isip" and Tinatangi, among others. Their sound is very distinctive. You should listen to this band more often. I hope they don't really and fully commercialize their sound. Producers should let this band blossom more.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bong Bong's win in the electoral contest with Robredo will serve as a political monkey wrench

Talks about Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr's possible win in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal case he lodged against Vice president Leni Robredo are rising, with most seeing this as a possible monkey wrench thrown at the existing political in-fighting within Malacanan.

Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte had earlier signified his intention to hand over most of his power to Bongbong Marcos the minute the scion of Ferdie's political legacy assumed the vice presidential post.  Will this disrupt the political intramurals happening within Mr. Duterte's administration? What will happen the minute Mr. Marcos' army suddenly replaces the vanguards of Dutertismo inside that house along the Pasig?

You guessed right--that would surely diminish the stature of the Dutertistas and would result to a consolidation of the pro-BBM forces within and outside of government. Will it cut the rising stature of Speaker Arroyo's minions inside this administration? There should be a pre-meditated power-sharing scheme already between Arroyo and the Marcoses. It is easy to negotiate with the Arroyos--they just want to keep themselves perfectly in power for the longest time, since they have so much properties and commercial interests to protect. It is all about power for the Arroyos while it is all about political vindication for the Marcoses.

When Bongbong wins, one does not need a formal revision of Philippine history-- the very win had already revised the traditional narrative against the Marcoses. The only thing left to resolve is if that EDSA 1986 incident which resulted to a "popular uprising" against the Marcoses was, for all intents and purposes, just a mere politically planned ploy to mask the intended aim which is to prevent Imelda from assuming or succeeding her former husband.

A Bongbong win would surely be an Imelda's as well. This is a very powerful narrative which suggest that this family did not commit such atrocious crimes people ascribed to them for all these years. Imelda would probably ask her doctors to stop injecting her with age prolonging stem cells and just allow her to close her beautiful eyes the minute this happens.

Will this result to a blossoming of another revolt, a revolt led by the ascendant generation of young men and women sick and tired of Duterte's antics, and wary of the future? It could because a Bongbong win is as disruptive as an establishment of a revolutionary government.

It will open up old wounds especially among members of this country's principalia. It will probably freak out survivors of Mr. Marcos' tyrannical rule and prod them to go out again on the streets to protest such a horrific possibility.

Think still of the injustice such an incident would bring to a Bongbong. He played the political game as a skilful and master political tactician. He followed every rule and at the end of the day, will not be allowed to enjoy the sweet perfume of a win? That is another narrative that is expected to hit the democratic founders straight in their faces.

The Balangiga bells and other unfulfilled Duterte campaign inanities

There was so much media frency on the return of the Balangiga bells that my ears and my eyes hurt. Don't misinterpret me-- I am not undermining this event. This means a lot to many people. 

It means metaphorically, the "normalization" of RP-US relations, according to the Inquirer. What to me is significant in this is the recognition of the US of the Philippines as standing toe to toe before its previous colonial master. The return of these bells just shows respect, respect to a long-standing ally whose sons and daughters sacrificed even their own lives fighting wars not of their own.

Some quarters however, are trumpeting this as a triumph of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Yes, Duterte's rants may have contributed towards the return of the Balangiga bells. However, it was not Duterte who first raised the issue of the return of these bells to the Philippines. This issue has been festering in the public sphere since 2010. And Mr. Duterte just assumed it as his own "crusade."

But, how many more of Mr. Duterte's electoral promises are still unfulfilled? His anti-drugs war is right now a tattered one, gored by several sectors who questioned the morality and the efficacy of such a campaign. Fifteen thousand people dead and rising, yet, shabu is still being sold in the streets, millions are still living like zombies and many tons more of the white powdery stuff being smuggled out of our ports. Those largely responsible for that 6.3 billion peso smuggling controversy at the Bureau of Customs came out of it unscathed.

His campaign against ENDO went awry, with Mr. Duterte succumbing to the wiles of the oligarchs whom he promised to tame during this administration. Instead of being tamed, these oligarchs are currently on a rampage, with each carving his own image at Mr. Duterte's administration. The fact is, Mr. Duterte has his own set of oligarchs, now squezing every juice that they can get from their affinity with the mayor of Davao.

Prices of commodities, goods, and services went up as Mr. Duterte ordered his budget secretary to get trillions from our incomes to fund his massive infrastructure dream. What is now happening, if we are to believe Senator Panfilo Lacson and Majority Floor Leader and former budget secretary himself Andaya, favored contractors managed to get billions from the trillion peso budget.

Andaya and several other congressmen alleged that Duterte's budget secretary Benjamin Diokno himself inserted several millions worth of projects into the budget and assigned it to one favored contractor--- C Leoncio Trading and Construction which according to Andaya is a single proprietorship.

If this is happening today, think of what would happen the minute the budget is now at the hands of bureacrat capitalists managing the affairs of a federated region. As usual, public funds will simply be siphoned off to the joy of favored contractors of every federated region. Graft and corruption will simply be decentralized to these political sub-units, and it will surely affect the lives of millions.

Think of the monumental political mess a Federalist setup would bring to this country. UNfortunately blinded by her still lofty political ambition, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants nothing more than shove the proposal to our throats, a bitter pill filled with explosive poisonous bile that would surely place the very future of our sons and daughters into extreme jeopardy.

Why do we want such a Federated regional setup? Because China has the very same legislative setup. Why is there so much effort to develop Pampanga, Zambales and Bataan areas? You guessed right--it is near Chinese mainland. Am I alluding to the possibility of that area being carved out as a province of China in the near future? Yes. 

And while we are at it, our group of islands off Zambales are now being developed into massive military installations for the defense of China, and to the detriment of the Philippines. China's intrusions and its continued building effort are being seen as actual threats already by the United States. Expectedly, we are doing absolutely nothing, a sign that we might lose the victory we had at the UNCLOS when an arbitral decision was made in our favor. Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says our continued silence is a form of acquiesce to the wiles of China.

China is really pushing the envelope and I guess China knows how the US sees their efforts--nothing more than violations of the unwritten code of conduct at that side of the world. The West Philippine sea anomaly remains a major flashpoint and the possibility of this leading to a naval clash in the future looms.

IN all of these, let's recognize that we have that responsibility of correcting these monumental errors in decision-making of our political elites. We might, eventually, resort to the fullest expression of our democratic power thru a civilian revolt or try to go to our precincts come May and express our frustration there.

Whatever may be the choice of the broad Filipino masses, one thing is surely clear--- we are again under a regime whose policies and actions betray the constitutional guarantees of freedoms, rights and liberties and the continued corruption without adequate prosecution of people close to Mr. Duterte betrays tons-ful of shit which came from Mr. Duterte's mouth assuring us of preventing such corruptions from happening.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sa amin pa rin ang bukas

sa mga panahong nangangalit ang kalangitan
at ang mga kidlat ay nagsusulputan
malakas ang hangin at walang masilungan
sa matitinding buhos ng ulan.

ako ay naririto para sa iyo.

isipin mo nang ligtas ka
may gabay at may umaaalalay
sa pagtulay mo sa buhay
naririyan lamang ako
handang ipagtanggol ka.

halika't hawakan mo ang aking kamay
at tayo'y tumakas, maglakbay
sa iba't-ibang mga mundo't magsikhay
tumuklas ng mas maraming bagay

iwanan ang mga problema
wala nang magagawa pa.
talikdan ang mga kasalanan
at baguhin ang lipunan.

talamak na kasakiman.
walang paggalang sa kapwa tao.
puro na lamang kasamaan
at walang patumangang nakawan.

ninakawan mo kami ng aming mga kaluluwa
pilit inaalis sa aming katauhan ang pagiging Pilipino
maging ang aming pagiging maginoo
inyo mo nang tinapakan at pinatay.

sa lahat ng ito
mayroong umagang aasahan
mayroong ginhawang mapapala
kung aalisin ang talukap sa mga mata
at kumilos pa ng isa pa.

hinding hindi mo mapapatay ang Pilipino
may kaluluwa kami't pagkatao
sa Dios namin at mga anito
kami ay tatawag pati na mga santo

guguho ang mga payayo
mananahimik ang mga palaso
mananauli ang pagiging maginoo
darating ang takdang araw ng paghuhukom
at ang bayang sinaktan ay maghihilom.


Bong Revilla gets his freedom--but where are the monies?

Selective justice. Two words with a very heavy meaning.

This is how Jinggoy Estrada described what happened with him and his erstwhile friend, Bong Revilla. They were both dragged into the Janet Napoles pork barrel scam controversy and now, they are both free.

And now, they are running again for public office. These two hoped to regain their senatorial slots. And based on surveys, they both figured in the winning circle.

For Estrada and Revilla, yes, it really might have been selective justice. Out of the 200 plus politicians named by Benhur Luy, only three big names were plucked and put in jail. Those named in that legendary list continued with their lives. Worse, if we are to believe Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, pork is again back. Imagine, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got 2 billion for her legislative district.

Such impunity, even at this time, when most of our people are hard pressed finding the next cent for their next meal. When whole families are being wrecked due to poverty, and when hundreds even thousands of us are packing our bags and leaving this country for safer, better conditions elsewhere.

Several years before, and the Pnoy administration embarked on an anti-corruption drive. Now, what had happened?

Many said that what happened with the Revilla case is a clear example of the weakness and corruption of our justice system. Despite overwhelming evidence, the courts acquitted these two because there is no clear case that what Luy and Napoles gave them as monies belonged to the people. In my book, that's a technical thing. Of course, those who want nothing more than hide an impropriety would really do every single legal thing just to hide what they intend to do. In the case of Revilla, one justice of the Sandiganbayan says she wants to convict but the facts do not really link Revilla to the crime.

So where are those 200 million pesos? Dont tell me that it was only Revilla's chief of staff Atty Richard Cambe who got all the largesse?

Hay naku.

Buti at nakakatulog pa ng mahimbing ang mga ito. I will just pray to God for justice. There is no more here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Pilipino ay kaluluwa ng Lahi

Ayon kay Jose Rizal, ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, daig pa ang isang malansang isda. Ibig bagang sabihin nito, malansang isda ang Kataas-taasang Hukuman nang pahintulutan nitong alisin ang Pilipino bilang sabjek sa college curriculum? Posible.

Tama si Senate president Tito Sotto--ang ating wika ay siyang nagbibigay sa atin ng pagkakakilala o identidad. Kakaiba ang ating wika. Ito ang siyang nagtatagni sa atin bilang Pilipino.

Pumaibang bansa ka at makikilala mo ang isang Pilipino kapagka nagsalita na siya ng Pilipino. Para bagang badge of honor kung makakapagsalita ka ng Pilipino.

Inihahabi natin ang ating mga pangarap, ang ating mga damdamin maging ang ating mga panaginip sa pamamagitan ng ating sariling wika. Nakakabit ito sa ating pagkatao.

Kung ang mga dayuhan nga, pilit pinag-aralan ang ating wika upang lubusan nila tayong maintindihan, bakit naman ang Kataas-taasang Hukuman ay hindi?

Kung idadaan mo nga naman sa ating mga batas, mayroong kapangyarihan ang Commission on Higher Education na magdesisyon pabor sa pag-alis ng wikang Pilipino sa curriculum. Ngunit, mas nakatataas ba ang CHed sa saligang batas? Sa saligang batas mismo nakaukit ang mga imortal na katagang nagtataguyod sa Pilipino bilang lengua franca sa Pilipinas.

Talikdan natin ang mga paratang sa wikang ito bilang hiram, hindi eksakto o chopsuey o pinaghalo-halong hiram na wika mula sa iba't-ibang wikang mas matanda sa kanya. Walang wikang perpekto. Lahat ng wika ay hiram na wika mula sa sinapupunan ng unang wika.

Nagpapakita lamang nang kasariwaan at kayamanan ng Pilipino bilang isang wika ang mga hiram na salita. Sa Pilipino, inilalantad din ang ating kasaysayan bilang isang bansa. Nakahabi sa Pilipino ang pakikibaka ng ating mga ninuno. Ito ang kaluluwang nagluwal ng samu't-saring pagsasakripisyo para lamang galangin tayo bilang mga Pilipino, bilang mga tao, at bilang isang bansa.

Ito rin ang nagpapakita ng kapatiran ng bawat isang ipinanganak o may dugong Pilipino. Ang Pilipino ang nagpapaalala sa atin ng ating pagkakaisa bilang mga magkakapatid sa ilalim ng bansang Pilipinas.




Why Robredo does not fit the bill

Vice president Leni Robredo is still the constitutionally mandated person to replace Mr. Duterte the minute he leaves this world or suddenly thinks he is so tired, he wants out or the people suddenly wake up from their languor and act against him. Without a definitive ruling from the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Robredo stays as Duterte's successor.

Nothing wrong except that several people think Robredo is the wrong person for the job. She does not fill the bill.

Many see Robredo the way they see Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. People think that she is more of an ally of the oligarchs rather than a person who bears the strong political will to really effect change in the system.

We'll name one example--her recent speech before young legislators of the region. Instead of her speaking before the people, Robredo spends so much time talking with members of her socio-economic class.

Robredo must begin speaking and consulting with the basic masses, the very same vein she was known before. She must re-discover her roots.